BACKGROUND. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with enhanced risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease not explained by Framingham risk score (FRS). Immune dysregulation associated to a distinct subset of lupus proinflammatory neutrophils (low density granulocytes; LDGs) may play key roles in conferring enhanced CV risk. This study assessed if lupus LDGs are associated with in vivo vascular dysfunction and inflammation and coronary plaque. METHODS. SLE subjects and healthy controls underwent multimodal phenotyping of vascular disease by quantifying vascular inflammation (18F-fluorodeoxyglucose–PET/CT [18F-FDG–PET/CT]), arterial dysfunction (EndoPAT and cardio-ankle vascular index), and coronary plaque burden (coronary CT angiography). LDGs were quantified by flow cytometry. Cholesterol efflux capacity was measured in high-density lipoprotein–exposed (HDL-exposed) radioactively labeled cell lines. Whole blood RNA sequencing was performed to assess associations between transcriptomic profiles and vascular phenotype. RESULTS. Vascular inflammation, arterial stiffness, and noncalcified plaque burden (NCB) were increased in SLE compared with controls even after adjustment for traditional risk factors. In SLE, NCB directly associated with LDGs and associated negatively with cholesterol efflux capacity in fully adjusted models. A neutrophil gene signature reflective of the most upregulated genes in lupus LDGs associated with vascular inflammation and NCB. CONCLUSION. Individuals with SLE demonstrate vascular inflammation, arterial dysfunction, and NCB, which may explain the higher reported risk for acute coronary syndromes. The association of LDGs and neutrophil genes with vascular disease supports the hypothesis that distinct neutrophil subsets contribute to vascular damage and unstable coronary plaque in SLE. Results also support previous observations that neutrophils may disrupt HDL function and thereby promote atherogenesis. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00001372 FUNDING. Intramural Research Program NIAMS/NIH (ZIA AR041199) and Lupus Research Institute
Philip M. Carlucci, Monica M. Purmalek, Amit K. Dey, Yenealem Temesgen-Oyelakin, Simantini Sakhardande, Aditya A. Joshi, Joseph B. Lerman, Alice Fike, Michael Davis, Jonathan H. Chung, Martin P. Playford, Mohammad Naqi, Pragnesh Mistry, Gustavo Gutierrez-Cruz, Stefania Dell’Orso, Faiza Naz, Taufiq Salahuddin, Balaji Natarajan, Zerai Manna, Wanxia L. Tsai, Sarthak Gupta, Peter Grayson, Heather Teague, Marcus Y. Chen, Hong-Wei Sun, Sarfaraz Hasni, Nehal N. Mehta, Mariana J. Kaplan
Mesenchymal TNF signaling is etiopathogenic for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis (SpA). The role of Tnfr1 in arthritis has been documented; however, Tnfr2 functions are unknown. Here, we investigate the mesenchymal-specific role of Tnfr2 in the TnfΔARE mouse model of SpA in arthritis and heart valve stenosis comorbidity by cell-specific, Col6a1-cre–driven gene targeting. We find that TNF/Tnfr2 signaling in resident synovial fibroblasts (SFs) and valvular interstitial cells (VICs) is detrimental for both pathologies, pointing to common cellular mechanisms. In contrast, systemic Tnfr2 provides protective signaling, since its complete deletion leads to severe deterioration of both pathologies. SFs and VICs lacking Tnfr2 fail to acquire pathogenic activated phenotypes and display increased expression of antiinflammatory cytokines associated with decreased Akt signaling. Comparative RNA sequencing experiments showed that the majority of the deregulated pathways in TnfΔARE mesenchymal-origin SFs and VICs, including proliferation, inflammation, migration, and disease-specific genes, are regulated by Tnfr2; thus, in its absence, they are maintained in a quiescent nonpathogenic state. Our data indicate a pleiotropy of Tnfr2 functions, with mesenchymal Tnfr2 driving cell activation and arthritis/valve stenosis pathogenesis only in the presence of systemic Tnfr2, whereas nonmesenchymal Tnfr2 overcomes this function, providing protective signals and, thus, containing both pathologies.
Maria Sakkou, Panagiotis Chouvardas, Lydia Ntari, Alejandro Prados, Kristin Moreth, Helmut Fuchs, Valerie Gailus-Durner, Martin Hrabe de Angelis, Maria C. Denis, Niki Karagianni, George Kollias
GARP, a cell surface docking receptor for binding and activating latent TGF-β, is highly expressed by platelets and activated Tregs. While GARP is implicated in immune invasion in cancer, the roles of the GARP-TGF-β axis in systemic autoimmune diseases are unknown. Although B cells do not express GARP at baseline, we found that the GARP-TGF-β complex is induced on activated human and mouse B cells by ligands for multiple TLRs, including TLR4, TLR7, and TLR9. GARP overexpression on B cells inhibited their proliferation, induced IgA class-switching, and dampened T cell–independent antibody production. In contrast, B cell–specific deletion of GARP-encoding gene Lrrc32 in mice led to development of systemic autoimmune diseases spontaneously as well as worsening of pristane-induced lupus-like disease. Canonical TGF-β signaling more readily upregulates GARP in Peyer patch B cells than in splenic B cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that B cells are required for the induction of oral tolerance of T cell–dependent antigens via GARP. Our studies reveal for the first time to our knowledge that cell surface GARP-TGF-β is an important checkpoint for regulating B cell peripheral tolerance, highlighting a mechanism of autoimmune disease pathogenesis.
Caroline H. Wallace, Bill X. Wu, Mohammad Salem, Ephraim A. Ansa-Addo, Alessandra Metelli, Shaoli Sun, Gary Gilkeson, Mark J. Shlomchik, Bei Liu, Zihai Li
A defect in indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1), which is responsible for immunoregulatory tryptophan catabolism, impairs development of immune tolerance to autoantigens in NOD mice, a model for human autoimmune type 1 diabetes (T1D). Whether IDO1 function is also defective in T1D is still unknown. We investigated IDO1 function in sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from children with T1D and matched controls. These children were further included in a discovery study to identify SNPs in IDO1 that might modify the risk of T1D. T1D in children was characterized by a remarkable defect in IDO1 function. A common haplotype, associated with dysfunctional IDO1, increased the risk of developing T1D in the discovery and also confirmation studies. In T1D patients sharing such a common IDO1 haplotype, incubation of PBMCs in vitro with tocilizumab (TCZ) — an IL-6 receptor blocker — would, however, rescue IDO1 activity. In an experimental setting with diabetic NOD mice, TCZ was found to restore normoglycemia via IDO1-dependent mechanisms. Thus, functional SNPs of IDO1 are associated with defective tryptophan catabolism in human T1D, and maneuvers aimed at restoring IDO1 function would be therapeutically effective in at least a subgroup of T1D pediatric patients.
Ciriana Orabona, Giada Mondanelli, Maria T. Pallotta, Agostinho Carvalho, Elisa Albini, Francesca Fallarino, Carmine Vacca, Claudia Volpi, Maria L. Belladonna, Maria G. Berioli, Giulia Ceccarini, Susanna M.R. Esposito, Raffaella Scattoni, Alberto Verrotti, Alessandra Ferretti, Giovanni De Giorgi, Sonia Toni, Marco Cappa, Maria C. Matteoli, Roberta Bianchi, Davide Matino, Alberta Iacono, Matteo Puccetti, Cristina Cunha, Silvio Bicciato, Cinzia Antognelli, Vincenzo N. Talesa, Lucienne Chatenoud, Dietmar Fuchs, Luc Pilotte, Benoît Van den Eynde, Manuel C. Lemos, Luigina Romani, Paolo Puccetti, Ursula Grohmann
B cells play a central role in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathophysiology but dysregulated pathways leading to a break in B cell tolerance remain unclear. Since Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) favors the elimination of autoreactive B cells in the periphery, we assessed TLR9 function in SLE by analyzing the responses of B cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) isolated from healthy donors and patients after stimulation with CpG, a TLR9 agonist. We found that SLE B cells from patients without hydroxychloroquine treatment displayed defective in vitro TLR9 responses, as illustrated by the impaired upregulation of B cell activation molecules and the diminished production of various cytokines including antiinflammatory IL-10. In agreement with CD19 controlling TLR9 responses in B cells, decreased expression of the CD19/CD21 complex on SLE B cells was detected as early as the transitional B cell stage. In contrast, TLR7 function was preserved in SLE B cells, whereas pDCs from SLE patients properly responded to TLR9 stimulation, thereby revealing that impaired TLR9 function in SLE was restricted to B cells. We conclude that abnormal CD19 expression and TLR9 tolerogenic function in SLE B cells may contribute to the break of B cell tolerance in these patients.
Vincent Gies, Jean-Nicolas Schickel, Sophie Jung, Aurélie Joublin, Salomé Glauzy, Anne-Marie Knapp, Anne Soley, Vincent Poindron, Aurélien Guffroy, Jin-Young Choi, Jacques-Eric Gottenberg, Jennifer H. Anolik, Thierry Martin, Pauline Soulas-Sprauel, Eric Meffre, Anne-Sophie Korganow
Type I IFN (IFN-I) dysregulation contributes to type 1 diabetes (T1D) development, and although increased IFN-I signals are pathogenic at the initiation of autoimmune diabetes, IFN-I dysregulation at later pathogenic stages more relevant for therapeutic intervention is not well understood. We discovered that 5 key antigen-presenting cell subsets from adult prediabetic NOD mice have reduced responsiveness to IFN-I that is dominated by a decrease in the tonic-sensitive subset of IFN-I response genes. Blockade of IFNAR1 in prediabetic NOD mice accelerated diabetes and increased Th1 responses. Therefore, IFN-I responses shift from pathogenic to protective as autoimmunity progresses, consistent with chronic IFN-I exposure. In contrast, IL-1–associated inflammatory pathways were elevated in prediabetic mice. These changes correlated with human T1D onset-associated gene expression. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin receptor 4 (PTGER4), a receptor for PGE2 that mediates both inflammatory and regulatory eicosanoid signaling, were higher in NOD mice and drive innate immune dysregulation. Treating prediabetic NOD mice with a PTGER4 antagonist restored IFNAR signaling, decreased IL-1 signaling, and decreased infiltration of leukocytes into the islets. Therefore, innate cytokine alterations contribute to both T1D-associated inflammation and autoimmune pathogenesis. Modulating innate immune balance via signals such as PTGER4 may contribute to treatments for autoimmunity.
M. Jubayer Rahman, Kameron B. Rodrigues, Juan A. Quiel, Yi Liu, Vipul Bhargava, Yongge Zhao, Chie Hotta-Iwamura, Han-Yu Shih, Annie W. Lau-Kilby, Allison M.W. Malloy, Timothy W. Thoner, Kristin V. Tarbell
Signaling through IL-2/IL-15Rβ (CD122) is essential for the differentiation and function of T cells and NK cells. A mAb against CD122 has been implicated to suppress autoimmune type 1 diabetes (T1D) development in animal models. However, the mechanisms remain poorly understood. We find that in vivo administration of an anti-CD122 mAb (CD122 blockade) restores immune tolerance in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice via multiple mechanisms. First, CD122 blockade selectively ablates pathogenic NK cells and memory phenotype CD8+ T cells from pancreatic islets. In contrast, islet CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs are only mildly affected. Second, CD122 blockade suppresses IFN-γ production in islet immune cells. Third, CD122 blockade inhibits the conversion of islet Th17 cells into diabetogenic Th1 cells. Furthermore, a combination of anti-CD122 mAb and Treg-trophic cytokines (IL-2 or IL-33) enhances the abundance and function of islet Tregs. In summary, these data provide crucial mechanistic insights into CD122 blockade–mediated immunoregulation and support therapeutic benefits of this combinational treatment in T1D.
Xiaomei Yuan, Yi Dong, Naoya Tsurushita, J. Yun Tso, Wenxian Fu
T cell receptor (TCR) affinity is a critical factor of Treg lineage commitment, but whether self-reactivity is a determining factor in peripheral Treg function remains unknown. Here, we report that a high degree of self-reactivity is crucial for tissue-specific Treg function in autoimmunity. Based on high expression of CD5, we identified a subset of self-reactive Tregs expressing elevated levels of T-bet, GITR, CTLA-4, and ICOS, which imparted significant protection from autoimmune diabetes. We observed that T-bet expression in Tregs, necessary for control of Th1 autoimmunity, could be induced in an IFNγ-independent fashion and, unlike in conventional T cells (Tconv), was strongly correlated with the strength of TCR signaling. The level of CD5 similarly identified human Tregs with an increased functional profile, suggesting that CD5hi Tregs may constitute an efficacious subpopulation appropriate for use in adoptive Treg therapies for treatment of inflammatory conditions. Overall, this work establishes an instrumental role of high TCR self-reactivity in driving Treg function.
Maran L. Sprouse, Marissa A. Scavuzzo, Samuel Blum, Ivan Shevchenko, Thomas Lee, George Makedonas, Malgorzata Borowiak, Matthew L. Bettini, Maria Bettini
B cells play an important role in type 1 diabetes (T1D) development. However, the role of B cell activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) in diabetes development is not clear. We hypothesized that AID is important in the immunopathogenesis of T1D. To test this hypothesis, we generated AID-deficient (AID–/–) NOD mice. We found that AID–/–NOD mice developed accelerated T1D, with worse insulitis and high levels of anti-insulin autoantibody in the circulation. Interestingly, neither maternal IgG transferred through placenta, nor IgA transferred through milk affected the accelerated diabetes development. AID–/–NOD mice showed increased activation and proliferation of B and T cells. We found enhanced T-B cell interactions in AID–/–NOD mice, with increased T-bet and IFN-γ expression in CD4+ T cells in the presence of AID–/– B cells. Moreover, excessive lymphoid expansion was observed in AID–/–NOD mice. Importantly, antigen-specific BDC2.5 CD4+ T cells caused more rapid onset of diabetes when cotransferred with AID–/– B cells than when cotransferred with AID+/+ B cells. Thus, our study provides insights into the role of AID in T1D. Our data also suggest that AID is a negative regulator of immune tolerance and ablation of AID can lead to exacerbated islet autoimmunity and accelerated T1D development.
Qiyuan Tan, Ningwen Tai, Yangyang Li, James Pearson, Sean Pennetti, Zhiguang Zhou, F. Susan Wong, Li Wen
Neutrophils contribute to demyelinating autoimmune diseases, yet their phenotype and functions have been elusive to date. Here, we demonstrate that ICAM1 surface expression distinguishes extra- from intravascular neutrophils in the mouse CNS during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Transcriptomic analysis of these 2 subpopulations indicated that neutrophils, once extravasated, acquire macrophage-like properties, including the potential for immunostimulation and MHC class II–mediated antigen presentation. In corroboration, super-resolution (3D stimulated emission-depletion [STED]) microscopy revealed neutrophils forming synapses with T and B cells in situ. Further, neutrophils specifically express the aspartic retroviral-like protease ASPRV1, which increases in the CNS during EAE and severe cases of multiple sclerosis. Without ASPRV1, mice immunized with a new B cell–dependent myelin antigen (but not with the traditional myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide) develop a chronic phase of EAE that is less severe and even completely fades in many individuals. Therefore, ICAM1+ macrophage–like neutrophils can play both shared and nonredundant roles in autoimmune demyelination, among them perpetuating inflammation via ASPRV1.
Ryder F. Whittaker Hawkins, Alexandre Patenaude, Aline Dumas, Rajiv Jain, Yodit Tesfagiorgis, Steven Kerfoot, Takeshi Matsui, Matthias Gunzer, Patrice E. Poubelle, Catherine Larochelle, Martin Pelletier, Luc Vallières
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